‘Not Now, Tim’
The South Carolina Republican senator entered the race in May
Sen. Tim Scott announced on Sunday that he’s suspending his presidential campaign. The South Carolina senator entered the race in May flush with cash, but failed to gain traction while vying for the nomination in a crowded Republican presidential primary race.
He announced the news during an interview with Fox News. “I think the voters, who are the most remarkable people on the planet, have been really clear that they’re telling me, ‘Not now, Tim,’” Scott said on Sunday night during Trey Gowdy’s show, as The New York Times reports. “I don’t think they’re saying, Trey, ‘No.’ But I do think they’re saying, ‘Not now.’”
According to multiple reports, Scott’s decision surprised his donors and campaign staff members, some of whom said they were not made aware until he announced his bowing out of the campaign on live television.
While the announcement may have come without warning to some in his circle, the decision is not surprising in terms of his low single-digits polling numbers and his fundraising, where he’d need to meet a threshold of 80,000 donors and higher public opinion surveys to qualify for the next debate sponsored by the Republican National Committee in December.
During his appearance on Fox News, he said he had no plans to serve as someone else’s running mate (“Being vice president has never been on my to-do list for this campaign, and it’s certainly not there now,” he said) and he does not intend to endorse another Republican candidate. “The best way for me to be helpful is to not weigh in,” he added.
When Scott entered the race in May, he had more than $22 million cash on hand and he spent millions of dollars on television ads, but that along with his debate appearances ultimately failed to translate to a bump in the polls. In October, the super PAC supporting him also yanked its slate of television ads, and did not plan to renew them.